Grand jury to
meet on donations

An Oahu grand jury will meet on Thursday as part of its investigation into political donations to Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris’ campaign.

The 16-member, secret panel issued subpoenas this week to people allegedly linked to the engineering firm of R.M. Towill Corp., according to a recipient of a subpoena.

The hearing in Circuit Court comes less than two weeks after the panel indicted four Towill employees and one of its business partners for making illegal campaign contributions to the Harris campaign.

The prosecutor’s office, which is leading the grand jury investigation, had no comment. An attorney for several Towill employees also had no comment.

According to one subpoena recipient who asked to remain anonymous, the grand jury is investigating donations linked to John Adversalo, president of Architects Pacific Inc. and other unnamed donors. Architects Pacific is a subcontractor for Towill.

Adversalo declined comment this morning, saying he was not aware of the grand jury proceedings. He referred questions to his attorney Renee Yuen, who could not be reached.

State Campaign Spending records show that Architects Pacific has donated about $11,000 to the Harris campaign since 1996. During the same period, the firm received nearly $900,000 in city work.

Architects Pacific is part of a network of Towill employees and subcontractors who donated more than $300,000 to the Harris campaign since 1996.

Under state law, donors can give no more than $4,000 to a mayoral race and $6,000 to a gubernatorial race during a four-year election cycle. Donors also are barred from making political donations under false names.

Earlier this month, the grand jury indicted Towill vice presidents Roy Tsutsui and Kenneth Sakai and its former comptroller Robert Ko on misdemeanor charges of making a false-name donation and making excessive contributions. The panel also indicted business associate Donn Mende and company comptroller Nancy Matsuno for making a false-name contribution.


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